Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Friday, 17 November 2017

Support the Victims of Child Sex Abuse: Cancel Your BBC TV Licence Today


It's Children In Need day - that time of year when swarms of BBC luvvies, who really couldn't give a shit about anything other than their own inflated egos and eye-watering salaries, pretend they're whiter than white and oh so concerned about child welfare.

For decades children and vulnerable young people were abused right under the noses of BBC bosses - BBC bosses so entwined in their own self-importance and that of their "talent" that they ignored warning signs that were plain for all to see.

Do your bit for child welfare today. Cancel your BBC TV licence. Read our earlier article to find out how.

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Sunday, 12 November 2017

TV Licensing Prosecutes Polish Mother: Defence Submission


Yesterday we published the brilliant news that Capita TV Licensing had decided to withdraw hopelessly flawed TV licence evasion charges against a vulnerable Polish mother.

We mentioned that we had assisted the lady, Mrs Tekla, with making a defence submission to the court. Our noble colleague Bureaucrat, of the TV Licence Resistance forums, created the document in question, which you can read below:
_____
IN THE GWENT & SOUTH WALES MAGISTRATES' COURT

Case Number: 621700XXXXXX

Between

TV Licensing (Prosecution)

-and-

[Name Redacted] (Defendant)

DEFENCE SUBMISSIONS

Suggested pre-reading: PACE Code of Practice C.

Introduction
1. The defence submits that the prosecution’s “record of interview” should be excluded under sections 76(2)(b) and/or 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (“PACE”).

Summary of Facts
2. On [date] a representative of TV Licensing attended the defendant’s address and interviewed her. The prosecution maintains that this interview was conducted under caution in accordance with PACE, a matter which the defence disputes.

Exclusion of Evidence
3. The prosecution case relies on a form that purports to be a record of an interview under caution. Such an interview should have been conducted in accordance with the relevant parts of PACE Code of Practice C, paragraph 13.2 of which states:

Unless paragraphs 11.1 or 11.18(c) apply, a suspect who for the purposes of this Code requires an interpreter because they do not appear to speak or understand English (see paragraphs 3.5(c)(ii) and 3.12) must not be interviewed unless arrangements are made for a person capable of interpreting to assist the suspect to understand and communicate.

4. The defendant’s first language is Polish and her English is not fluent. This would have been apparent to anyone speaking to her. However, no provision was made for an interpreter to be obtained before interviewing her.

5. The defence respectfully submits that the Court should exclude the prosecution’s record of interview under section 76(2)(b) of PACE as a confession which was obtained in circumstances that render it unreliable, namely the absence of an interpreter meant that the defendant did not fully comprehend the nature of the interview or the contents or meaning of the form she signed.

6. Additionally or alternatively, the defence respectfully submits that the record of interview should be excluded as unfairly obtained evidence under section 78 of PACE on the basis that the absence of an interpreter made the interview process unfair as it put the defendant in a position where she could not properly understand the nature of the interview, the offence she was accused of, the questions she was asked or the contents and meaning of the form she signed.

[Dated]
_____
Bureaucrat, who has professional expertise in these matters, has helpfully provided the following commentary:

"TV Licensing prosecutes most of its cases using incriminating statements people have made to goons. These statements are taken by interviewing the defendant under caution and getting them to sign a paper record of the interview to confirm its accuracy. TV Licensing claim that this process is compliant with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), though this is something I have disputed and argued with them for a while.

"PACE accords people being interviewed under caution several rights, one of which is that non native English speakers should have an interpreter present. Cases like this show why this is so important. Unfortunately TV Licensing likes to ignore important PACE rights like this because it saves money and results in more people being tricked into incriminating themselves.

"Section 76 of PACE gives a court the power to exclude a confession that was obtained in circumstances that make it likely to be unreliable. Clearly a confession obtained from a non native English speaker who had no interpreter present is likely to be unreliable.

"Section 78 of PACE gives a court a very broad power to exclude evidence that it considers unfair. A record of an interview conducted with someone whose native language isn't English, who will therefore not have understood the questions properly, is unfair.

"The defence submissions I wrote for this case intended to persuade the court to exclude TV Licensing's evidence using its powers under sections 76 or 78 of PACE, which would have had the effect of causing TV Licensing's case to collapse. As TV Licensing withdrew its case the court didn't get a chance to consider the submissions. It is unclear whether TV Licensing withdrew because it genuinely felt that there was no public interest in pursuing this case, or whether it wanted to save the embarrassment of a court scrutinising the deficiencies in its interview process."

As Bureaucrat has rightly identified, the fact that TV Licensing has chosen to withdraw the charges against Mrs Tekla means we cannot know for sure how the court would have reacted to this defence submission.

TV Licensing received a copy of this submission at the same time as the court, which we'd suggest had some bearing on its decision only a few days later to withdraw the charges.

TV Licensing undoubtedly realised that had the trial gone ahead serious questions would have been raised in open court about the quality of its evidence. Pulling the plug now means that TV Licensing avoids the embarrassing prospect of its evidence being disallowed.

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Friday, 10 November 2017

Capita TV Licensing Withdraws Charges Against Vulnerable Polish Mother


We are delighted to confirm that Capita TV Licensing has abandoned its sickening attempt to prosecute a vulnerable Polish mother for an offence she did not commit.

Mrs Tekla, remember, lives on the outskirts of Newport, Gwent with her husband and grown up disabled son. She speaks very little English, but that didn't deter TV Licensing from interrogating her on the doorstep about a TV licence she doesn't legally need. In the finest traditions of TV Licensing, her confused, broken English words were somehow translated into a confession of TV licence evasion.

When we first heard this story we were absolutely furious at TV Licensing's gutter attempts to prosecute on the basis of poorly gathered, unreliable evidence. Even if the evidence was legitimate there was no way, given the circumstances, this prosecution was ever going to be in the public interest. We made that opinion abundantly clear to the BBC and TV Licensing.

A few days after our initial article Mrs Tekla received a letter from TV Licensing saying that it had requested an adjournment of the case. Skip forward another week and TV Licensing has now announced its intention to withdraw the charges against her. The reason, spookily enough, is that it has conducted a review of the case and concluded, just as we had, that it would not be in the public interest to proceed.

In the days between the adjournment and withdrawal notifications we assisted Mrs Tekla in making a submission to the court challenging the admissibility of TV Licensing's evidence. At that point there was still a chance the trial could go ahead, so we had to inform the court of our concerns about the manner in which TV Licensing had interviewed Mrs Tekla. We shall write more about this in a future article.

TV Licensing will be reeling from its decision to withdraw the charges against Mrs Tekla. It must have surely considered her the ideal victim. She has been warned, in no uncertain terms, to give TV Licensing the widest possible berth in future.

If you know of anyone in a similar predicament please get in touch.

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